April 14, 2005 Linux Can’t Kill Windows Linux Can’t Kill Windows – via the dot I tend to agree. I’m a Mac user so I’m on the Unix/Linux bandwagon and all that, but Linux isn’t going to beat out MS anytime soon. Certainly not within the next 20 years or so. It has nothing at all to do with marketing, desktops (look how perfect OSX is and still only 3% market share), or ease of use. Operating systems are this centuries infrastructure. It’s simply too inefficient to have multiple choices in this area, the world naturally gravitates towards a monopoly. You wouldn’t want there to be 5 bridges right next to each other going over a river or 4 train lines right next to each other going from the same place to the same place. Businesses aren’t going to pay for training and support of multiple operating systems in their organizations and it’s all about business. People use at home what they use at work and until it makes financial sense for businesses to have multiple OS’s Windows will be king. It also has nothing to do with quality of one vs another. Let’s say Red Hat takes off and all the sudden they become what is on every users desktop in every organization in the country. What have the businesses accomplished? They’ve traded in one monopoly for another. You don’t think Red Hat would start charging like they were a monopoly? I do. So why should businesses take that risky path of swapping out one OS for another which may only be slightly better? Finally you have Office, which is the real key to the Microsoft empire. Until there is something to compete with Office nobody is going to switch out of MS products. There’s simply too much productivity on the line to mess with switching to another Office like solution. By the way Open Office and the like are not the answer. MS has 40 BILLION dollars sitting around. You’re not ever going to catch them in the business software market by trying to copy them. The only thing that can unseat Office is a revolutionary new product, like the Spreadsheet was 20 years ago. Something so new and which enhances productivity so greatly that businesses have to switch or risk losing ground to their competitors. Scoble usually follows Slashdot, it will be interesting to see his take on it.